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How Far Do You Agree That the Limited Appeal of Mazzini's Ideas Was the Main Reason for the Slow Progress of National Unity in the Years 1815-48?

  • Date Submitted: 07/07/2014 06:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 35.7 
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After the congress of Vienna in 1815 and the subsequent restoration of reactionary monarchs to the Italian states, the idea that the idea that there could be a single, united nation of Italy remained. The movement supporting a national republic grew throughout the 19th century, influenced significantly by Giuseppe Mazzini, a passionate nationalist and an extremely influential politician, founder of Italy's first political party, Young Italy. Despite his charisma and determination, his ideas are very questionable in their effectiveness in eventually securing unification. The process of unification, specifically between the Congress of Vienna and the revolutions of 1848, was undoubtedly a drawn out, arduous process, and to an extent, the limited appeal of Mazzini and his ideas were to blame. However, the role that the power of Austria and the Papacy played, as well the lack of unified goals from other states, in slowing the progress of unification were much more important than the lack of support for Mazzini.  


Mazzini's one overriding aim was to create 'the brotherhood of the people', an independent state based on democracy with a guarantee of individual rights. He wanted a revolution from below, with the people seizing power and rising up against their oppressors. Unfortunately, this meant that Mazzini completely alienated the upper classes and aristocrats, the people with the real power to make change. For example, Charles Albert, who would later go on to become instrumental in the unification of Italy, turned down Mazzini's offer to lead the coming revolution and become head of a unified Italy. Presumably, this was because Mazzini was simply too radical. By adopting Mazzini's ideas, the upper classes would be losing much of their power and wealth, especially to the emerging middle class. Consequently, Mazzini was not able to gain support from people that possessed official power, with Charles Albert going so far as to execute twelve of the sixty seven...

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